We all tend to trust people who are just like us. That is a truism. With a knowledge of psychology that would make Sigmund Freud envious, conmen use that trust to their advantage. Scammers know that once they have a potential victim’s heart and trust, their wallet soon follow.
We are experiencing an epidemic of fraud that targets particular nationalities, ethnic groups, racial groups, fraternal organizations and religious groups. Religion related scams are particularly common. Bernie Madoff was guilty of tremendous affinity fraud within the Jewish American community. A scam artist may join a particular church, synagogue or mosque and gain the trust and confidence of the congregation by making a significant contribution to the religious organization. But this is just see money. Scammers often target members of a religious, ethnic, fraternal or other group that they appear to belong to and offer “special” investment opportunities that ultimately turn out to be worthless.
You should never trust anyone who asks you to trust him. Always do your homework before you invest your money. The endorsement of someone you know and trust is no substitute for real research into any investment.